The Theosophical Society (Adyar)
President Elections 2008

This document was created mainly to allow to the Theosophy in Slovenia web site visitors to easily follow the discussions on theos_talk and theos_l e-mail lists in regard to the TS President Elections 2008 and to present to them some relevant documents. As the Election Process was concluded it was decided on July 12th 2008 to stop adding links and relevant information to this document. TS members can follow further developments on newly created password protected TS Members Area (to get the User name and Password please contact the local TS Office). To allow to the web site visitors at large to follow further discussions on theos_talk and theos_l e-mail lists in regard to the TS matters a new document was created: After the President Elections 2008.

Elections Results:

Full Election Results
Additional statistics
Additional Statistics - Some Comments
Membership Statistics 2007/08

TS Executive Committe Declaration

Congratulations to Radha Burnier

Election results
Election results

TS Election - Press Release?

TS - Elections - Results? (Due today?)
Processing of Ballots

Election campaign letters:

Elvira Carbonell's letter
Circular Letter - Radha Burnier
Circular Letter - Betty Bland
Warning: the right URL of the web site indicated in the text is:
Betty Bland's letter to all TSA members

The 2008 PTS Election Letters - analysis.
Elvira Carbonell's Letter - Some Comments

Possible solutions:

Independent Inquiry into the TS Election
Independent Inquiry into the TS Election

Various views :

The French TS View with comments by Pedro Oliveira
Pedro Oliveira's message

Note: In Slovenia Mrs. Radha Burnier's Circular Letter was translated and distributed to selected members.
Letter to the members in Brasil
TS President Election - Dieu's View
Radha Burnier's Health - Another personal observation
View of a GS
Members' views
Bhupendra R. Vora letter
TS Election - Protest

Election Committee's response to the French TS Board

President's Health Issue:

TS President Radha Burnier's Health - Doctors' Certificates
Doctors' certificates copies
Note: Certificates were sent to the General Manager, Mr. Harihara Raghavan.
The Health Issue: Compare and Contrast
The Health Issue: Observation
TS International Elections - Health issue
Medical Certificates or Doctors Opinions?
Radha Burnier's Health Update
Radha Burnier's Health: Testimony of a Neurologist
Radha Burnier's Health - Additional Info


TS Presidential Election: Timeline


A Much Higher Standard of Ethics is Urgently Required
Is democracy outdated?
TS Election - A view from England
TS Election - A view from England - Some reflections
Letter to John Algeo
Summary by Edi Bilimoria
Let's keep things simple

In the absence of the policy of the Society determined by the General Council, the violation of the Rules and Regulations is taking place with the circulation and publication of the material which isn't approved by the Executive Committee.

One candidate is running for the office presenting her views through circular letter, the other with the publication of his plan of activities on the net.

As the health of the first candidate is in question certain material is delivered to the members in favor of the second candidate presuming a poor health of the first candidate. Then doctors' certificates are produced for the purpose of the election campaign of the first candidate and the Election Committee actively steps in the campaign in favor of this candidate, declaring her fitness for the office, fairly transcending its authority and acting in the name of the Executive Committee and the General Council.

See further comments in the Lucifer7 Magazine: Theosophical Elections
and on the blog - A forum for the discussion of institutional issues: 2008 International Elections

Complaints and observations:

TS Election - Protest

TS Elections - How to file a complaint?
TS Elections - Complaints
TS Election - Voting in the USA
To the Members of the General Council of the Theosophical Society
Integrity of the Process
Open Letter to Mary Anderson

TS Elections - Transparency
TS Elections - Transparency

Misleading Secrecy - Death Blow to Organizations

Policy of Secrecy
Policy of Secrecy
More on Secrecy

More on Rule 10
TS Membership Trend
Why drop in membership outside India?

TS - Elections - Thank You Message

Principles and Rules

Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society
1993 Edition

Rules and Regulations of the Theosophical Society
2007 Edition

Principles of Theosophical Work by I. K. Taimni

Principles and Rules -
A personal view

Comments on Olcott by HPB
TS - Transparency

* * *

After President Elections 2008 page
Time for Healing and Creative Solutions
After the General Council Meeting 2008

Extract from the

10. Election of President

The procedure for election to the office of President shall be as follows:

(a) Seven months before the expiration of a President's term of office, or within three days of the office becoming vacant, the Executive Committee shall appoint a special Committee consisting of three members of The Theosophical Society in good standing including the Secretary, but excluding any candidate for the office of President, to carry out the election procedure as herein under detailed.

This Committee shall be known as the Election Committee and shall be answerable only to the Executive Committee.

It shall be automatically dissolved on the declaration of the voting result.

(b) Immediately on its appointment; the Election Committee shall instruct the Secretary to send out to the members of the General Council a written call for nominations for the office of President.

The call for nominations shall be sent by airmail or other expeditious means if airmail be unavailable, followed one week later by a second (duplicate) call.

(c) Any member of the Society in good standing, having been a member for at least ten consecutive years immediately preceding his nomination, may be nominated.

Each member of the General Council, who is a General Secretary, shall be entitled to make three nominations and shall consult his Governing Body before making nominations.

The President shall be entitled to make three nominations.

The Vice-President, Secretary, Treasurer and each Additional Member of the General Council shall be entitled to make one nomination.

The nominator shall be responsible for ensuring that his nomination(s) reaches the Secretary within ten weeks of the date of the call for nomination.

The nominee shall be responsible for notifying the Secretary, within the abovementioned period of his acceptance of nomination. One written consent shall suffice for all nominations for that nominee.

(d) At the expiration of ten weeks, the Election Committee shall place all the nominations received, together with the relevant papers, before the Executive Committee at a meeting especially convened for the purpose.

At such meeting the Executive Committee shall examine the nominations.

The three nominees having the highest number of nominations shall alone be qualified to be on the voting list, but if two (or more) nominees qualify for the last place on the voting list, they shall both (or all) be included in the list.

No nominee shall be included in the voting list unless supported by at least twelve nominations.

The names of the nominees who thus qualify for inclusion shall be listed in alphabetical order.
This list, as finalized by the Executive Committee, shall be the voting list and shall not be subject to challenge.

However, in the event of a nominee dying or being so seriously incapacitated as to be unable to carry out the Presidential duties if elected, between the date of the call for nominations and the despatch of the voting list, the nomination procedure shall be repeated, commencing within seven days from the notification of the fact to the Secretary.

(e) The Secretary shall then immediately communicate in writing by airmail or other expeditious means (followed one week later by a second and duplicate communication) the voting list together with biographical data of the candidates in accordance with Appendix A to these Rules, to the General Secretaries, Regional Secretaries, Organizing Secretaries, and Presidential Representatives and to the Lodges (Branches) and Fellows-at-large attached to Headquarters.

Each General Secretary, Regional Secretary, Organizing Secretary and Presidential Representative shall make known the names of the candidates and their biographical data to the members in his area and take the votes in accordance with the instructions in Appendix B to these Rules of the individual members on the rolls of his National Society or area of administration who have been members in good standing for two full years as on the date of the call for nominations, and shall communicate the results to the Secretary in accordance with the instructions given in Appendix B to these Rules.

The Election Committee shall take the votes in accordance with the instructions given in Appendix B of these Rules of the members of the Lodges (Branches) and Fellows-at-large attached to Headquarters who have been members in good standing for two full years as on the date of the call for nominations.

The voting results must reach the Secretary within fifteen weeks of the date of issue of the voting list by him.

If only one name remains on the voting list the vote shall be taken on a ‘For’ or ‘Against’ ballot.

(f) At the expiration of fifteen weeks from the date of issue of the voting list by the Secretary, the voting results shall be totalled by the Election Committee and placed before the Executive Committee.

Within three days of the closing date of voting, the candidate who has received the largest number of votes shall be declared elected President and shall assume office not later than thirty days thereafter.

In the event of a tie, or of the rejection of a single candidate in a ‘For’ or ‘Against’ ballot, or of a candidate on the voting list dying or being so seriously incapacitated as to be unable to carry out the Presidential duties if elected, after the despatch of the voting list and before the final totalling of votes, the nomination and election procedure shall be repeated, commencing within seven days from the notification of the fact to the Secretary, and the President in office or the Vice-President if he is temporarily filling such office, shall continue therein until a new President assumes office.

Note: A member is in good standing if his dues have been paid for the last official year to his Section, Regional Association or Presidential Agency or in the case of Lodges (Branches) attached direct to Adyar and Fellows-at-large to the Secretary or Treasurer concerned.

* * *


A: Biographical Data of Presidential Candidates

Other material concerning the candidates shall not be circulated.
Each candidate shall submit to the Secretary biographical data not exceeding two hundred words.
The following information shall be included: (a) date and place of birth (b) education (c) past and present occupations (d) date of joining The Theosophical Society (e) work done for The Theosophical Society.
Other information may be included but must be factual and shall not contain statements of opinion or policy.
The biographical data for circulation shall be drawn up by the Election Committee on the basis of the information supplied by the candidates, and shall be approved by the Executive Committee (excluding any candidates for election) before being issued.

* * *

B: Voting Procedure for a Presidential Election

Note: Where the term 'General Secretary' is used, it refers also to Regional Secretary, Organizing Secretary, and Presidential Representative. Where the term ‘Section’ is used, it refers also to National Society, Regional Association and Presidential Agency.

(a) The Section shall print the voting papers and biographical data as soon as the names of the nominees are announced.

Where practicable, in the view of the General Secretary, all the papers should be in the languages of the area.

It shall be the responsibility of the General Secretary, to ensure that the voting papers together with the biographical data in full are sent to each member.

(b) The voting papers shall consist of two parts: the voting slip, and the letter form which the member signs and addresses to the General Secretary.

Each member shall be given two envelopes, a small one in which he will place only the voting slip and seal it, and a larger one addressed to the General Secretary, in which he will enclose the small sealed envelope and the letter form signed by him.

(c) As the papers are received, the General Secretary, with the scrutineers appointed by the Executive Committee of the Section (preferably not members of that committee), shall open the larger envelopes addressed to him to ensure the validity of the votes by checking the eligibility of the voter who has signed the letter form.

He shall then put the small sealed envelopes containing the voting slips into a sealed box.

This box shall be opened on the appointed day by the scrutineers. Voting papers received after this date shall be treated as invalid and shall be destroyed unopened.

The scrutineers shall open the small envelopes and count the votes given to each candidate (or the number of ‘For’ or ‘Against’ votes if there is but one candidate).

(d) The General Secretary shall record the result of the count on Form C which will be supplied from the Secretary’s Office at the same time as the list to be voted upon.

He shall place Form C in the small envelope labelled ‘Voting Result … Section’, seal the envelope and enclose it in the larger envelope addressed to the Secretary.

This must be sent by airmail or other expeditious means to reach the Secretary within fifteen weeks from the date of issue of the voting list by him.

(e) The small envelope containing the voting results of the Section shall be kept unopened in a sealed box by the Secretary until the close of voting.

It shall then be opened by the Election Committee.

The larger envelope shall be kept separately and shall not be destroyed until after the voting results are announced, and under the authority of the Executive Committee.

(f) If the voting returns have not been received by the Secretary within twelve weeks of the date of issue of the voting list by him, he shall cable the General Secretary concerned, informing him of this fact.
The General Secretary shall immediately send to the Secretary by airmail or other expeditious means a second (duplicate) voting return in a sealed envelope marked ‘Duplicate’.

Cabled results will not be accepted.

Voting results received after the closing date will be destroyed unopened by the Secretary in the presence of three members of the Executive Committee, nominated by the said Committee, and the particulars of the Section from which the voting results were received and the date on which they were received, shall be recorded in writing, and the Secretary and the three members of the Executive Committee shall affix their signatures thereto.

Last update: January 2009
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